Major Akali nerfs are expected to hit the League of Legends PBE when the Patch 10.3 cycle starts next week, looking to target the champion’s oppressive hold on high elo and pro play.
Akali has proven to be a balancing nightmare for Riot since her rework in 2018. The assassin has an incredibly high skill cap, with the champion struggling at lower elos but thriving in the hands of a master.
This is reflected in her win rate, which sits at 45.3% across the board, but over 51.8% in Master rank or higher. To give Akali a few more counters at higher elo, as well as make her a bit easier to execute in lower ranks, a bunch of changes have been planned for Patch 10.3.
However, the changes could have a major impact on how the champion is played, and maybe even end her reign on the Rift in high elo and pro play.
The planned nerf was shared by lead gameplay designer Mark ‘Scruffy’ Yetter on January 16. The two parts of Akali’s kit currently targeted are her Twilight Shroud and her ultimate, Perfect Execution.
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Twilight Shroud proved to be a nuisance for players on release, making tower dives incredibly easy to execute. However, if the changes go through, her shroud will become even less effective. The change list states that “if Akali is immobilized while in her shroud, she is revealed for the duration of the immobilizing effect.”
The team has some Akali changes coming to the PBE for 10.3 - rather than straight damage nerfs, we want to reduce the amount and reliability of her escapes.
These will have a bit longer than normal on PBE so we can get feels feedback and extra testing. pic.twitter.com/x4xnjZNMjh
— Mark Yetter (@MarkYetter) January 16, 2020
Immobilizing effects in League includes stuns, snares, and suppressions, but not slows. So now, if an Akali gets hit by a stray crowd control effect while in her shroud, she will no longer be able to wait it out in darkness.
This makes her incredibly vulnerable while she’s in her shroud, and players will have to put even more emphasis on dodging CC. On top of that, the movement speed bonus has been moved to an “on-cast” bonus, rather than extra movement speed in her shroud.
For her ultimate, it will be easier to hit on the first cast, but harder on the second. The first cast is moving to a point-and-click dash, instead of a free dash. Her second dash is also getting its speed culled, dropping from 3000 to 1900.
The loss of the free targeting on her first dash gives her less options for escaping enemy champions unless they are over the wall she wants to dash to. However, her engages will always hit thanks to the point-and-click nature of the ability.
While the changes won’t be live on the PBE for next week’s Patch 10.2, they are looking to implement them for Patch 10.3 on February 6.
They are still, however, subject to change while on the PBE, and Riot will be looking closely to see if their approach will finally bring balance to the assassin.